Category Archives: Uncategorized

$25 Free from ING Direct (and up to $2,000 more)

When you open an ING DIRECT account – be it an Investment Savings Account, RSP, GIC or mortgage with a minimum of $100 they’ll start you off with a $25 bonus!

All you have to do is enter Orange Key 33725913S1 and you’re set to go.

Visit to start saving today!


Layoff, the Game

Using a simple casual game paradigm to comment on the current state of the US financial crisis, both friends and strangers face tough times in an unstable economy. Part dark humor, part grim portent, in the game players play from the side of management needing to cut jobs, and match types of workers in groups in order to lay the workers off and increase workforce efficiency.

MasterCard’s Financial Preparedness Tips for 2009

To varying degrees, the impact of the current economic downturn will likely be felt by the majority of Canadians over the next year. With the start of a New Year comes an opportunity to take a fresh approach to managing personal finances. This year, there will likely be an even greater need for Canadians to prepare for the unexpected. MasterCard Canada’s SPEND SMART approach provides a list of budgeting basics that consumers should contemplate while planning their finances for the coming year.

SAVE: Start saving now. Take a percentage of your income (5-10%) and put it away in a savings account or another investment vehicle. Set up automatic withdrawal payments so a portion of each pay goes directly into your savings account, automatically saving money before you have a chance to spend it. This concept of paying yourself first ensures that your financial goals come before discretionary spending.

PICK THE RIGHT CARD: Given the variety of choices available,
write down a list of the features you think you need (such as a low annual fee or a low interest rate) and match them against the features you want (such as points toward travel, groceries or gas) and see which card is the best fit.

EXPENSES: Start by keeping track of your expenses over a month and group them into categories. Tracking phone, hydro, etc. can be simplified by preauthorizing payments for monthly bills through your credit card. This will not only ensure bills are paid on time, but your monthly statement also itemizes all your expenses. Using cash can make it difficult to know what was spent on items like a coffee. A credit card is a great way to track all your smaller expenses to the penny.

BUDGET: Sticking to a budget (which should include paying
household bills on time) is one of the toughest and smartest things you can do to make sure you’re on your way to a bright financial future. There are many free budgeting software programs available online. Budget for unexpected expenditures such as car trouble or a broken appliance.

DAILY SAVINGS: You might be surprised how quickly small expenses can add up to big savings. Some of your regular, periodic expenses are luxuries – things like house cleaning, manicures, lawn-care services – do them yourself, or do without. Trade in those luxuries for the big luxury of paying off any debt you might have.

GOALS: Goal setting includes assessing your family’s personal and
financial wants and needs, and then working to make those wants and needs a reality. Identify and record all of your family’s specific financial goals, such as saving for a house, a holiday, paying off debt, or planning retirement.

CREDIT: A credit card can be a valuable tool to handle a
variety of expenses, but only when used responsibly. Few families can
afford to purchase everything they need – much less everything they want – without borrowing from time to time. Whether you borrow through a line of credit or a credit card, credit should be used to enhance your personal financial management, not become an extension of your income. Paying bills on time will help you maintain a good credit rating.

RECEIPTS: Keep your sales receipts for big ticket
purchases so you can monitor your spending and make sure it’s in line with your budget, and so you can compare them to your credit card statement. They are also required for warranties or if you need to exchange or return something.

CARD PAYMENTS: Resolve to pay more than the minimum: Understand how paying more than the minimum can be a critical step in reaching your goals. When less of your money goes to paying interest on your debt and more of it goes toward paying off the actual debt, you will reach your debt reduction goal sooner. Concentrate on paying off the debts that carry the highest interest rates first.

TRACK REVENUE: A key first step to creating a budget is to calculate your monthly, post-tax income. This allows you to match your revenue and expenses to the period in which they occurred and determine if your monthly expenses exceed your monthly income. If you get paid monthly, simply refer to the amount on your pay stub. Track when your income comes in, which can help you schedule payments of monthly expenses.

The Power of Positive Thinking

So I was talking with some colleagues last night and expressed frustration at the deluge of negativity I have been spewing over the past several months. I realize that ‘it is what it is’ and there is little that can be done on an individual basis to right this ship. However, I also recognize that it is clear by now to everyone that we are in a global recession, and little value is added by continuing to beat that drum to death.

As such I am going to try and present more positive insights in the coming weeks. According to one of my friends “think positive thoughts.” This will inevitably be a challenge in this tumultuous economic environment, but I will at least make a concerted effort to shine some positive light.

Reminder: Consumer Credit Education Conference Tomorrow

Please come visit us at booth #8 Clean Slate Credit


What: Credit Education Week Canada Tradeshow and Speaker Series

Date: Thursday, November 20, 2008

Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre Constitution Hall Room 105 (North building – 2nd floor)

Time: 9:00am – 6:00pm

Cost: Free


Presentation Schedule

9:30am Ellen Roseman (The Toronto Star) – Maximize Your Credit Card Opportunities

9:30am Perry Quinton (Ontario Securities Commission) – The 4 Know’s of Investing

11:30am Tom Reid (TransUnion) – Achieve More: Take Charge of Your Credit

11:30am Linda Leatherdale (The Toronto Sun) – Kids and Money

1:00pm Brandon Whitby (Manulife Securities) – Common Sense Financial Planning in Hard Economic Times

1:00pm Jeremie Ryan (Financial Consumer Agency of Canada) – Building Financial Life Skills

3:00pm Patricia Lovett-Reid (TD Waterhouse) – Seven Steps to Financial Freedom

3:00pm Dale Goldhawk (Host of Goldhawk Fights Back for You AM740) – Safeguard Against Scams